The last American city to host the Olympics was Salt Lake City back in the winter of 2002. Now some in Utah are confidently declaring that they’re “ready, willing, and able” for another go round in 2026.
The Utah Olympic Exploratory Committee submitted a report to Governor Gary Herbert and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker Thursday claiming that a return of the Games to the 2002 host city would boost the economy with $5 billion, create 30,000 job years, and bring in tax revenue of roughly $75 million.
“Bringing the Games back to Salt Lake City,” the report read,” would provide additional opportunities to give back to the Olympic movement, continue to promote Olympic ideals, strengthen and grow our sustainable legacies from the 2002 Games.”
Even better, the Salt Lake Olympics were recent enough that the report suggests the city would save greatly on construction costs for venues and infrastructure since most what was built for the last Games is still standing and in operation. They would only need to be updated, rather than starting from scratch.
The mayor and governor will decide whether or not to move forward on the bid in mid-November, but the actual campaigning process won’t begin until 2016, with the vote coming in 2019.
Fenway Park will host some of the world’s best freeskiers in the one-of-a-kind Big Air at Fenway, live on NBC Sports Live Extra on Friday night.
Big air skiers will descend from a ramp that’s four times higher than the Green Monster inside the hallowed Boston Red Sox home.
Ski big air is most like slopestyle of the current Olympic disciplines, except skiers get one jump per run.
WATCH LIVE: Big Air at Fenway — 8:30 p.m. ET
On Thursday, Canadian Max Parrot and American Julia Marino won the snowboard big air competitions at Fenway Park.
Big Air at Fenway coverage will conclude with an NBC show on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET.
MORE: Olympic champ suffers concussion at Big Air at Fenway practice
In an homage to the Lillehammer 1994 Winter Olympics, Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway lit the Lillehammer Youth Winter Olympic cauldron to cap the Opening Ceremony on Friday night.
The princess’ father, Crown Prince Haakon, lit the 1994 Olympic cauldron in a very similar fashion (video here). Princess Ingrid Alexandra was born in 2004.
The Opening Ceremony, held outdoors at a ski jump (same venue as 1994) in sub-freezing temperatures, included a speech from International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.
“I’m just a little bit too old to compete in the YOG,” Bach said, urging listeners to use the hashtag #IloveYOG during the nine-day Winter Games.
The ceremony included Olympic legends, such as 2010 figure skating gold medalist Yuna Kim and eight-time Olympic cross-country champion Bjorn Daehlie carrying the Olympic flag.
Marit Bjoergen, a 10-time Olympic medalist cross-country skier, handed the Olympic flame to the princess.
NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra will air coverage of the Opening Ceremony on Saturday at 12:30 a.m. ET, plus daily coverage throughout the Winter Games. A full broadcast schedule is here.
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